As the year comes closer to an end and we reassess our business budgets, we are, with any luck, tailoring our approach to what is most effective for our brand. If it didn’t yielded sales, it’s likely time to say goodbye to some of the less successful campaigns and strategies.
If you haven’t taken the time to explore which marketing tactics aren’t working for you or (gasp!) still don’t have a marketing budget or strategy, fear not. I’ve compiled this list of 5 tired marketing trends to lay to rest in 2014.
1) Quantity Over Quality
“Well we want to make sure you’re going to do X posts per day on our social media accounts.”
Or – “We have to make sure we get X blogs out.”
Or “Can you throw in X press releases into your proposal?”
Who decided that assigning an arbitrary number to how many of a certain deliverable there is was what yielded the results, anyway? We had one blog this year that got us 76 leads in 1 week. ONE BLOG POST. In 2015, we need to eliminate the quantity-based marketing structure and focus on value-based marketing rather than how much of a particular tactic we’re employing.
2) Impersonal Inbound
Inbound is touted as a more personal method of marketing, but I still see all sorts of pitchy promotional content being published. Somehow, companies are still failing to connect with their ideal buyer. Why is this? It might be a lack of focus in marketing – too many cooks in the kitch type of deal.
Or it could be a result of an unplanned strategy to begin with. If you’re not using buyer personas in your marketing yet – it’s time to start. No more random blogs. Identify who your buyer persona is (we use this framework) and run with them. Start caring about what your buyer actually needs and wants and you’ll start making marketing that people care about, too.
3) Ineffective Content Outsourcing
If you pay dirt cheap for an outsourced article that’s some awful spin on a bunch of stats that they looked up on a topic that isn’t relevant, you’ve go to stop. It’s time to give your buyers what they’re looking for. Solve their problems. Be human. That’s all people want.
Stop outsourcing your content to cheap websites and marketplaces and start paying for less content that has a bigger impact and a higher value. Hire a professional writer or an agency with professional writers on staff. It takes a long time to cultivate a deep understanding of your company (you knew this already), so don’t push out substandard content to try to promote your cause.
4) Exclusively Scheduling Social Media
Speaking of stuff that no one wants to read, it’s time to address social media strategies. Sure, it’s hard to find time to keep up with all the noise on social media. Don't get me wrong-- scheduling out posts is fine. For example, if you want to promote a recent case study, a blog, or will be out of town, by all means, schedule out your posts.
But you shouldn't be doing only this. You have to take other things into account. For example – when is the best time to post? This infographic might help you with that. What types of contests or giveaways might work in my industry? Social media is exactly what its name says: social. Engage with others in your industry, re-tweet, share, like, favorite and talk with others. You’d be amazed how that generates some good social media karma.
5) Pushing The Same Social Message Through Multiple Channels
I don’t know who thought of it or why it still exists, but those apps that push content through multiple channels the exact same way – they’re done. They were great when they came out, but the truth is that every audience and social platform is completely different.
If you push through a Facebook post onto Twitter with no hashtags, you’re seriously missing out on an opportunity. Not to mention that if you do the same for LinkedIn you’re talking to a completely different audience. In 2015, you need to stop and take the time to write a personal message for each audience.
The Bottom Line
Listen-- we’ve all been stuck in a marketing rut before. If you’re employing any of these tactics, there’s no shame in it. But if you don’t evolve soon, you risk being left behind. While these 5 tactics are becoming less effective, this is by no means a comprehensive list of everything that you might be doing wrong.
So do the right thing and stop utilizing these tactics before it's too late. Together, we can build a world of remarkable marketing.